Paul Swearingen on July 31, 2011 :
Joe Cottonwood gets it - that new teens, those who have just turned 13 and 14, can skip a couple of decades at the speed of a Hair Galaxy and pop right into their 40's.
And yet they can be light years apart - like Mimi, who harbors a deep, dark secret inside her but radiates power and manipulative ability, and tiny Jaz, who has yet to find out who she really is. Or little Hoot, who is mostly clueless about life and couldn't harm a fly, and big Bowie, who has known the rough side of humanity nearly all his life and knows how to protect himself and his home, even if it involves using a priceless triple-ought-forty-five C. F. Martin guitar as a weapon.
Cottonwood has captured all the emotions that are possible to run through teens, and his characters are almost larger than life in this novel, which is as masterful as those penned by Walter Dean Myers, Gary Soto, Paul Zindel, and S. E. Hinton. It's a powerful piece, and I recommend it without reservation.